War crimes: twenty-five "fair" trials in 2007
The majority of the 28 war crime trials that took place in Croatia in 2007 met standards of fairness, according to a February 4 report by four Croatian NGOs: the Centre for Peace and Human Rights, the Centre for Dealing with the Past, the Civil Committee on Human Rights and the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. These organizations founded a monitoring team that has been following all war crime trials in this country since 2005.
"Despite pressure from a portion of the media and serious political pressure, as well as obstruction from within state institutions, the crimes committed by the members of the Croatian army are being tried," says the report. "The atmosphere surrounding the trials, even when they are correctly carried out, reveals that the public still does not understand that a crime is a crime, regardless of the nationality of the person who committed it. Those who are charged in a just manner must be seen as criminals, not heroes, even if this is how a significant percentage of civilians still feels," said Srdjan Dvornik, director of the Croatian Helsinki Committee.
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